「遠慮・笑顔」 (Enryo / Egao)
“Restraint / Smile”
Episode at a Glance:
Despite having Tadashi on her mind, Akira tells her father that she doesn’t have anyone she likes and agrees to go to a marriage interview. Later on, the S.A class decides to help Sakura with their school’s cultural festival, so they reluctantly take a tour bus prepared by Hikari over and are greeted by her in a rabbit suit. While the others lose respect for her (and Kei asks for a rival cancellation), Hikari is determined to make it so that everyone has a good time, especially Akira, who’s bothered about Tadashi’s inability to recognize her feelings. Shortly after arriving, the S.A members are welcomed by Yahiro, who throws a grand welcome reception for them as part of a cultural festival rehearsal. During this reception, a bunch of Kokusen students attend to each of them (with Sakura going straight for Jun), but Kei is simply content with Yappi the rabbit, despite her screams. Some of the other girls then ask Akira what her first love was like, which only reminds her of her childhood with Tadashi.
During the actual cultural festival, Sakura and the S.A members open a host club, which features Kei, the uninterested, intimidating host, and Akira, the jealous, pissed-off waitress. For the most part though, everyone seems to be having fun, much to Hikari’s delight; however, she notices that Yahiro’s troubled and seems to want to talk to Akira, so she encourages him to do so. Hearing this, Yahiro is amazed (and annoyed) at how she notices other people’s situation when she never notices her own. Akira then says she’s lost her cellphone, so Sakura starts a campus-wide contest to help find it. With the host club now empty, Yahiro tries to talk to Akira, but his hesitation gives time for Tadashi to step in. Despite his cool words about not laying a hand on Akira, Tadashi quickly changes the mood. Noticing that Akira is fixated on Tadashi during all this, Yahiro slips quietly away. Alone together, Tadashi suspects that something’s been bugging Akira, so he offers to talk about it (or just let her hit him), which cheers her up a bit. Outside, Hikari tells Yahiro that finding Akira’s cellphone for her will make her happy, but Kei soon comes along and tells Hikari to just leave him alone. Realizing that he was planning to look for it already, Kei along with Hikari later approach him and bug him about it.
The three of them then overhear some other students talking about Akira’s phone and how they plan to use it instead of returning it. However, as soon as they see Kei, Yahiro, and Hikari, they try to return the phone in a frightened panic, only to trip in the process. With the phone flying through the air, Yahiro jumps up and catches it, but lands in the flowers/bushes. Shaken up but fine, Yahiro asks Kei to give the phone to Tadashi, thinking it would make Akira happy, but Kei refuses and simply walks away. Agreeing with Kei, Hikari suggests that Yahiro return it to Akira himself, but he feels that he can’t because she hates him. After some strict convincing though, Yahiro returns the phone to Akira and receives her thanks, reminding him of how they first became friends. Later on, Tadashi overhears Akira’s phone call about a marriage interview and encourages her to go, causing Akira to slap him and in tears, say she hates him.
「東堂・狩野」 (Toudou / Karino)
“Toudou / Karino”
Ouran High School Host Club, Special A style! While it was only for a small part of this episode, I could help but think of Ouran right away when I saw the Special A guys in a host club. Anyone else miss Ouran?
Anyway, this episode focused on the love triangle between Tadashi, Akira, and Yahiro, and while it’s evident she has her eyes on the school director’s goofy son, it appears he’s almost as dense as Hikari. The preview and episode title indicate that this will progress a lot further next time though, so I’m looking forward to seeing those two possibly hook up. However, given that Special A’s a comedy, I can’t really see them getting too close, but it’ll be interesting to see nonetheless. In addition, it doesn’t seem like they’ve forgotten about Jun and Sakura, who took a relatively backseat to everything this episode. Given how this series likes to use these type of scenes pretty often, I’m guessing this will be more of a tease than anything. If I’m proven wrong though, all the better! (It’s my way of faking myself out by setting my expectations low. Let’s see if it works…)
On another note, it kind of irked me the wrong way to hear Gotou Yuuko use her half-twisted foreigner voice for Hikari when she was in the rabbit suit. If that was the effect they were going for though, they sure succeeded. Because of this, I couldn’t help but laugh when Kei asked to cancel their rivalry.
Finally, for those of you familiar with Fukuyama Jun‘s more popular role as one Lelouch vi Britannia, I couldn’t help but think, “Takishima Kei, #1 of the S.A class, commands you to die!” during this scene.
– Hanazono Hikari (華園 光) / Gotou Yuuko (後藤 邑子)
– Takishima Kei (滝島 彗) / Fukuyama Jun (福山 潤)
– Toudou Akira (東堂 明) / Nabatame Hitomi (生天目 仁美)
– Karino Tadashi (狩野 宙) / Shimono Hiro (下野 紘)
– Yamamoto Megumi (山本 芽) / Takagaki Ayahi (高垣 彩陽)
– Yamamoto Jun (山本 純) / Yonaga Tsubasa (代永 翼)
– Tsuji Ryuu (辻 竜) / Horie Kazuma (堀江 一眞)
– Saiga Yahiro (雑賀 八尋) / Taniyama Kishou (谷山 紀章)
– Ushikubo Sakura (牛窪 桜) / Kuwatani Natsuko (桑谷 夏子)
– Girl in dress (ドレスの女子) / Nishino Youko (西野 陽子)
– Prince-like guy (王子風男子) / Shimowada Hiroki (下和田 裕貴)